I am writing this article today as a citizen concerned about the mass shootings in the United States.
For several years now, we have been stunned, shocked and saddened to learn of these senseless killings in our theaters, schools, stores, malls, concert halls, religious institutions, entertainment centers, companies, newspapers, festivals, restaurants and other locations.
According to Christopher Combs, special agent in charge of the FBI field office in San Antonio, Texas, “We are now at almost every two weeks, an active shooter in this country.”
Like many of you, I have prayed and continue to pray for the families of victims, the wounded, law enforcement agencies, the first responders, medical communities, governmental officials, citizens, cities and the nation.
After these shootings, we have heard pretty much the same things — the search for motive, hate crimes (racism), gun issues, etc. And while these issues certainly have merit, it seems to me that this society must go deeper. Sure, without doubt, we need to train for these disasters, work to alleviate societal discord, teach classes on CPR, consider gun measures related to mental illness and the purchase of weapons designed for war.
However, if we just continue doing the same things, chances are we will experience the same results. God forbid, but we have.
In this article, I would like to share a few thoughts that might help with this untenable situation of mass shootings in this country.
First, in the aftermath of these horrific shootings, finger-pointing is not helpful and only more divisive. Truth is, no single individual, group, party or race is totally to blame. All of us are responsible for creating or allowing an atmosphere of hate and discord to hang over our people and land. At any rate, it’s going to take all of us working together to right this ship.
Second, media coverage is important and appreciated. However, the danger is that unstable people will latch on to the continuing coverage and in watching decide that it is their time for a day in the sun.
Third, one of the crucial needs is for all of us to work closely with our mental health specialists. These specialists can help us understand some of the issues related to loners, the feelings of non-acceptance, loneliness, broken homes and destructive behavior that so often leads to this societal horror. They can also assist us in grasping other factors in mental instability.
Fourth, another positive would be a renewal of American family life. In a recent newspaper column, Mona Charen, a writer for the Creator’s Syndicate, stated, “The very best way to tame male aggression is to surround the growing boy with two parents and second with a community that offers positive outlets for his energy and drive...”
Whether you agree with Ms. Charen’s statement about “two parents” or not, please don’t miss the point that is being made here. Of course, we all know single-parent families where children are thriving. However, I think Ms. Charen is pointing out the need for a renewal in family life in America whatever it takes. And that is hard to find any disagreement on.
Now, I have mentioned all this to make this suggestion in regard to mass shootings. If I were president of the United States I would immediately appoint a Blue Ribbon Task Force to attempt an enhanced dilution to this critical issue. The task force would be composed of the following: law enforcement personnel, mental health experts, counselors, by-partisan political servants, business leaders, minority representatives, media personnel, family members of victims, religious leaders, concerned citizens and other needed experts.
The point is to pray about this and get started. Perhaps a media or social media push is the way to get this Blue Ribbon Task Force appointed and at work. It’s past time to corporately address, prioritize and move forward together in solving this deadly issue of sorrow and sadness.